Hello everyone! This is a one shot inspired by my other story, "An Absurd Affair". You don't need to have read it to understand this though.
Late afternoon in the junkyard. All the cats were busy doing nothing important. It was an afternoon so bright and so warm that no one in their right mind would want to do anything but spend the day dozing and relaxing.
Someone didn't get the memo.
"Hey, baby, want to come back to my place and do… stuff? Important stuff?"
Someone had managed to find a secluded part of the junkyard to practice their best pick up lines. It was not going well.
"'You must be exhausted. You've been running through my mind all day.'" Contemplative silence. "That wasn't too bad, but I could do better."
Furious page flipping.
"'Go ahead, feel my shirt. It's boyfriend material.' No, that's not going to work, I'd need a shirt… maybe Skimble would have one? He's got a vest at least." A long pause. "Go ahead, feel my vest. It's… the best?"
Another long pause. Footsteps paced in the dirt.
"'If nothing lasts forever, will you by my nothing?' Hmmm, I don't really want to call him nothing. Seems insulting."
Mistoffelees, who up until this point had been enjoying a particularly relaxing doze in a private sunbeam, couldn't help but wonder just who was the source of such… unusual flirting. Silently he stretched and meandered his way over towards the sound. The lines continued.
"'Have you been covered in bees recently? I just assumed, because you look sweeter than honey.'" Another pause. "That's… probably the worst one yet."
Almost there. Mistoffelees wormed his way through a rusted pipe and paused, waiting to hear if there were any more lines. He was not disappointed.
"'Remember me? Oh, that's right, I've only met you in my dreams.'" A frustrated patter of feet. Something was thrown into the ground rather violently. "That's not true, we spend way too much time together for that to work. I can't just straight up lie to him."
The last words were ground out through gritted teeth. The unknown cat took a breath to compose himself.
"Okay, okay, think. What would Tugger say? 'Wow, you got a nice butt. Let's get down to business.' Yeah, that'll do it." The unseen cat groaned. There was a sound of a body flopping onto the ground. Then silence.
Mistoffelees took that as his cue to emerge from the pipe, laying eyes on the last cat he would have expected to see practicing quite possibly the worst pick up lines to have ever been uttered in existence.
It was Alonzo. The cat who was usually the epitome of self assurance and style was currently laying face down in the dirt, tail twitching occasionally to indicate that he had, in fact, not died on the spot. A small journal was lying forlornly where it had been violently hurled to the ground.
"Alonzo?" Mistoffelees ventured, approaching the cat hesitantly. The black and white cat let out a startled yelp and surged to his feet, wildly looking around until his gaze settled on the magician.
"Oh, it's just you. Hello, Mistoffelees."
Mistoffelees decided to ignore the 'just you' part. "What are you up to?"
"Nothing. Just… rehearsing. For a… a play." Alonzo avoided his gaze and started to brush the dirt off of himself.
"Yes. Uh… Etcetera wrote one and asked if I could play a part. And I… I said yes."
"What's this play about?" Mistoffelees stretched out in the sun, trying to appear uninterested in the hopes that it would make Alonzo feel more relaxed. The poor cat looked like he had been 'rehearsing' for hours: there might have even been bags under his eyes under his fur.
"Romance." Alonzo said a little too quickly.
"I see. And you're obviously playing the part of the tom who's trying to woo his lover?"
"Yes. It's a very demanding role. I want to make sure I get it right so M- so the others take me seriously."
"Right." Mistoffelees tried not to smile. This was probably the first time that anyone had ever seen Alonzo caught off guard, and while it was very amusing it was also slightly disturbing. Just who was Alonzo trying to impress?
To his credit Alonzo had managed to clean all the dirt off of him, along with any previous signs of embarrassment. The older tom picked up the journal and flicked through it with a sour look on his face.
"Is that the script?" Mistoffelees asked.
"Yes." Alonzo shut the journal too quickly, sending a small puff of dirt up into his face.
"Can I see it?"
"Do you want some help rehearsing?" Mistoffelees asked, a small part of him wondering why he was pushing the point. It was clear that Alonzo was going to stick to his story (no matter how horrible it was) and any direct attempts at finding out just who the black and white cat fancied would be in vain.
Alonzo's face was deliberately blank. "Sure."
"Alright. How about… pretend that I'm whoever it is you're trying to hit on and I'll tell you if it's working."
"You mean whoever my character is trying to hit on. In the play." Alonzo said slowly.
"Yes, of course." Why had Mistoffelees thought this was a good idea? He couldn't help but be curious. Tugger was becoming a bad influence.
"How about this one: You must be a magician. Because any time I look at you, everyone else disappears."
Mistoffelees just stared at him.
"I improvised that line. I thought you'd like it." Alonzo coughed.
"I was… unusual."
"Oh." Alonzo sat back down in the dirt, looking rather forlorn. It was such a bizarre look for the normally confident cat that Mistoffelees couldn't help but wonder if he had gone to sleep and woken up in some alternate universe. With magic just about anything was possible.
"How about you try something else besides words?" Mistoffelees suggested.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you're a very handsome tom." Mistoffelees said slowly, trying to sound more matter of fact than embarrassed. While he didn't particularly fancy Alonzo in a sensual or romantic sense, he had to admit that he (along with half the junkyard) found it hard to ignore the black and white tom whenever he decided to slink into view. The contrast of his black and white fur combined with his graceful, fluid movements had certainly gotten everyone's attention.
"Thank you." Alonzo said, looking confused.
"I mean, you've already got visual appeal. Why not try to… try to get this cat's attention with body language instead?"
"You mean dancing instead of talking?"
"Something like that." Mistoffelees waved a paw vaguely in the air. "I've noticed that you're very physically affectionate with the other cats anyways, so it shouldn't be hard."
"Kind of hard not to when you're rubbing up on every queen during the Jellicle Ball."
It was true. While everyone got a little more riled up than usual during the ball, Alonzo in particular seemed to make it his mission to trade scents with just about every cat that came his way. Mistoffelees had at first thought the cat was hitting on every single eligible cat in the junkyard, but after an embarrassing encounter with the tom himself he realized it was an affectionate greeting and nothing more. At least, he hoped so. If Alonzo truly had the hots for him then this whole conversation was about to get a hundred times more awkward.
"Oh. That does sound about right." Alonzo looked thoughtful. "Might work. At least it would be better than these horrible lines."
"Where did you get those anyways?" Mistoffelees asked, hoping for at least one clue as to where Alonzo learned his terrible flirting skills.
"I overheard Etcetera and Pouncival practicing together. I think they were intending to try them out at the next ball."
Both cats paused, trying to imagine just who the unfortunate recipients would be.
"Why is this so important to you?" Mistoffelees couldn't help but ask.
There was a long pause. Mistoffelees figured that Alonzo wasn't going to answer but was met with an apprehensive look.
"This doesn't leave this conversation. No one else can know about this." The older tom warned.
"Of course. Do I look like I would gossip about something like this?" Mistoffelees raised an eyebrow. While he may have just recently become an adult, he still looked very kitten like, leading the older cats to treat him like a child from time to time.
"No." Alonzo sat back, a fraction more relaxed.
"Right. So why is this bothering you so much?"
Alonzo sighed. "Because I can't think of anything- anyone- else. I've been infatuated with this… cat… for ages. I'm going to go crazy if I don't make a move."
So they had moved on pretending to be rehearsing for the play that Etcetera certainly didn't write. Mistoffelees let out a little sigh. He was not the appropriate tom to give romantic advice. Perhaps there was another cat that would be better?
Tugger would have been the logical choice, but Mistoffelees had noticed that whenever the curious cat was around Alonzo was one of the only cats that didn't seem to be under his spell. Him and Munkustrap. Munkustrap, now there was a good choice. Alonzo and Munkustrap were together most of the time anyways, surely Alonzo would be comfortable enough to go to his best friend for advice on matters of the heart.
"Why don't you ask Munkustrap for some advice?" The magician ventured.
Alonzo turned a very interesting shade of pink.
"No, nope, I don't think that would work." He said, his voice slightly higher than it had been before.
Oh. Oh. Mistoffelees felt himself turning red in sympathy. Guess he hit that one right on the nose. The thought of Alonzo pining for Munkustrap made an odd sort of sense once he really considered it.
"I- I think that if you're going to try flirting with a specific tom- er, specific cat to try and ask him out, then you should just go for it." Mistoffelees said, trying not to laugh as Alonzo slowly buried his face in his paws. "Munk- er, I mean, whoever this cat is, would probably say yes anyways. Especially if you, ah, are forward and honest about how you feel."
"Really?" Alonzo asked, voice completely flat through his paws.
"I really do. It's clear that you two care for each other. And I think that you and this other cat that shall not be named aloud would do well together."
Alonzo took a deep breath, composing himself with impressive speed. "Thank you. It… it helps to hear some validation. Especially since I haven't told anyone."
"Your secret is safe with me. So long as you give up on the pick up lines. They really aren't working for you."
"You're right." Alonzo threw the journal off to the side. "Don't know what I was thinking. Love has made me lose my mind."
"Happens to us all, or so I hear." Mistoffelees said as Alonzo started to leave, presumably to find Munkustrap.
The older tom paused at the entrance to the pipe. "Hey, I do have one more. Want to hear it?"
"Lay it on me."
"Nice stripes. Want to see what they would look like on me?"
"Uh…." The mental images Mistoffelees got from that line would keep him awake for the rest of the afternoon. Alonzo left before he could respond.
Shaking off the awkwardness of the conversation, Mistoffelees picked up the discarded journal and thumbed through it. Never know when it might come in handy.
If you liked it feel free to leave a review! Until next time!